A woman wearing white gloves examines a textile fragment


Cotsen Textile Traces Study Center


The center is home to one of the world’s most significant textile study collections. Assembled by the late Lloyd Cotsen, it consists of nearly 4,000 fragments of textiles created around the globe and dating from antiquity to the present, as well as some 100 sample books. Scholars, faculty, students and artists are invited to schedule a research visit, and the entire collection is accessible on our collections website. The center also presents rotating gallery displays and public programs inspired by the collection.

The establishment of the Cotsen Textile Traces Study Center is made possible through an endowment gift from Margit Sperling Cotsen and the Cotsen estate.



Plan a Visit

The Cotsen Textile Traces Study Center is accessible to scholars, faculty, students and artists by appointment. Contact Academic Coordinator Karthika Audinet at [email protected] to discuss research opportunities and schedule a visit.

About the Collection

Nearly 4,000 fragments from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Oceania and the Americas offer insights into human creativity from antiquity to the present. Cornerstones of the collection are fragments from Japan, China, pre-Hispanic Peru and 16th- to 18th-century Europe. The Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection represents a lifetime of collecting by business leader and philanthropist Lloyd Cotsen (1929-2017). Browse the entire collection online.


The center organizes international roundtables, colloquia and research presentations that examine themes from the Cotsen Textiles Traces Study Collection. Browse upcoming programs or watch videos of past programs.

Collection Stories

Explore the Collections Stories blog or follow us on Instagram @GWMuseum for insights on textile traditions from around the world, including examples from the Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection.



Micro Exhibition




English stumpwork panel embroidered with castles, ladies, men bathing, assorted animals, and flower

King Charles I with Queen Henrietta Maria, England, 17th century, T-0654

A presentation cushion patterned with a few different scenes, several figures, animals, and plant life

The Stuart royal family, England, 17th century, T-1083

Rectangular furnishing fragment embroidered with a scene of James II and his wife surrounded by sheep, a dog, and a fox

James II with his wife Anne Hyde, England, 17th century, T-1478

This rectangular, unfinished purse features two embroidered busts, one at each end. Each bust is encircled in an oval with floral motifs and sequins filling the rest of the space. One of the busts is oriented upside-down.

Prince Charles II with sister Mary, England, 17th century, T-0129


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